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Gila Almagor

Gila Almagor (1939) is regarded as the first lady of Israeli stage and film. She was raised in an orphanage, and it was there that her acting talent was first noticed. Since her stage debut at  age 17 in the Habima Theater production of The Skin of Our Teeth, she has acted in numerous productions both on stage and screen, often in starring roles.

She is also a successful author of young adult fiction. Her autobiographical books Summer of Aviya and Under the Domim Tree were both made into films, in which Almagor starred as her own mother, a schizophrenic Holocaust survivor. She also starred as the mother of Avner, the main character in the 2005 film Munich. The Holocaust is a major theme in her work. Her latest role, in a film titled The Debt, is that of a former Mossad agent who comes back to kill an escaped Nazi doctor. In 2008 she played the role of Lola Baum in the 100-episode serial Dani Hollywood, broadcast on the Yes satellite network.

Almagor founded the Gila Almagor Wish Fund, a charity for sick children. In 2004, she was awarded the Israel Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Cinema. She is married to Yaakov Agmon, current director of Habima. She currently serves as chair of cultural activities on the Tel Aviv City Council.

Almagor recently received an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University in recognition of her contribution to Israeli culture.

Lecture Topics:

 Almagor's personal biography - Almagor's father was a policeman in the British Army and her mother a schizophrenic Holocaust survivor. Her father was killed by an Arab sniper when her mother was five months pregnant. Almagor discusses her personal biography and achievements within the context of Israeli theater.

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Images by: Fritz Cohen, Moshe Milner, Nati Harnik, Chanania Herman